The most common piece of advice from leadership is for teachers to build relationships with their students. The same advice is true of how the leadership team should prioritize building relationships with their staff and vise versa.
Those in leadership positions often feel isolated because there are not many staff members in their role. It’s important for leaders of all levels to depend on each other, collaborate together to solve problems, and build relationships so that camaraderie makes the role feel less lonely.
Administrators need to better know their staff so they can lead them to grow in a way that is authentic to who they are and the goals they have for themselves. Teacher leaders who are not teaching but are not the main leader in the building have a duty to build relationships with both the teachers they lead and the leaders that lead them.
This post will share ideas for how you can build relationships with colleagues in leadership.
Getting Started with Building Relationships
- Connect as people– Relationships begin when you get to know the human side of people before learning about them as their official title/role. Find out their interests, how they spend their free time, and any fun facts that make them unique. This will help you better understand why they operate the way they do.
- Meet regularly– Try to get a date on the calendar for you both to meet together on a regular basis. To prioritize the working relationship, you must make time to meet. Ask if they are open to the idea and if so, what the recurring meeting time could look like (ie. monthly, quarterly, etc.)
Keep the Relationship Going
- Engage in hallway chats– A lot of relationships are built passing by each other in the hallway so be sure to keep your head up and make eye contact with those you pass. A quick greeting and question to engage them in conversation sets the stage for a relationship to develop.
- Collaborate freely– Share ideas and resources freely with each other as a way to continue to grow and develop together.
Invest in Long-Term Relationships
- Address their love language– Find out how they feel most appreciated so that you can meet that need when necessary. If words of affirmation make them feel valued, be sure to share how you feel about them. If quality time is their love language, making sure the time spent together is intentional and uninterrupted. (See love language options here.)
- Initiate partnership– Don’t wait for someone else to approach you to work together or build a relationship. Take initiative and approach them for ways to work together. This goes a long way in building camaraderie.
No matter if you are an administrator leading an entire staff of teachers or a teacher leader bridging the gap between teaching and building leadership, these tips will help you build relationships with those you work with. Relationships are the foundation for the hard work that occurs in schools on a daily basis. If you can follow the tips above, you have a great chance at being successful in your role.
Need more tips for how to build relationships? Download this tip guide here.
GO BE GREAT!
How do you build relationships with leadership staff (and vice versa)?